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The Dakota Access pipeline will be operational in three months’ time, according to a spokesperson from Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), who added that construction on the line had begun following a final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday.
Spokeswoman Vicki Granado added on Thursday that work on the line resumed “immediately after receiving the easement.”
"The estimate is 60 days to complete the drill and another 23 days to fill the line to Patoka, [Illinois]," she added.
ETP’s crew had already drilled the underground holes needed to allow the remaining segment to enter and exit the ground in anticipation of getting the final go-ahead that President Trump had campaigned on providing.
The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne Sioux have taken legal action to prevent the completion of the pipeline on freedom of religion grounds.
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"The sanctity of these waters is a central tenet of their religion, and the placement of the pipeline itself, apart from any rupture and oil spill, is a desecration of these waters," Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux, who represents the Cheyenne River Sioux, wrote in a request to a federal judge to order a stop in construction until a lawsuit by a coalition of Native American tribes against ETP is resolved.
Opposition to the project from allies around the country continues. The latest news in this respect came from Seattle, whose City Council voted unanimously to sever all ties with banking major Wells Fargo because of its involvement as lender with the pipeline project.
Reporting from The Wall Street Journal in November showed that President Trump previously held between $500,000 to $1 million in ETP, although he has since divested. ETP’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, donated $100,000 to Trump’s presidential campaign.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…